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Amateur Update: Don’t let technology cause you to miss the memories

August 8, 2018

In our amateur sports world these days we have more and more technology involved and it changes the way we operate. Most are handy and simple but all have impacted various areas of our events.

For instance, we always used to have a photographer at events to take team pictures, capture the action and award presentations. Players, fans and family members would purchase these photos and take home pictures of the event for the scrapbook or wall.

As technology advanced, we had frustrated photographers who were losing business. We even had one event where the photographer demanded people not have the option to take their own pictures.

Obviously, that never worked and now is almost impossible to imagine. Today, everyone has a camera as pictures and video are plentiful.

Another technology that is impacting amateur sports is the online broadcasting of games and matches via the internet from the playing facility to the comfortable confines of each home…. some with fees and some without.

Consider a wrestling event where the parents can have their wrestler go with another friend, family or coach while they stay home. No travel, no time lost from work, no expense and no frustrations – just log in when the event is on and enjoy.

However, while convenient and much cheaper for the family, this technology advancement has an immediate effect on the events.

Lost to the event organizers are several revenue sources that offset the cost of running the event. Admission fees, merchandise and program sales, concession sales and more are impacted negatively. Economic impact dollars for hotels, restaurants, convenience store sales and shopping are at a zero. With all the ease the technology brings, it does affect the events.

But the biggest drawback in viewing via online is the lack of the experience families gain from amateur sports. When we run events, we put a lot of effort into the visitor experience in hopes they will have an enjoyable time. Opening ceremonies; media stories; activities before, during and after events; and finally the award presentations are dall captured on mom and dad’s phones (but most now captured online).

By being at home and not attending the event one might have more time for work, less miles on the car and more money in the pocketbook. However, as a father who looks back at the event I experienced with my kid’s years ago, those memories are priceless. Financially burdensome at times, and tough to always get their around work and other commitments, those sports related experiences will live on with myself and my family forever.

Enjoy the technologies of today but think twice when considering missing an event and catching it online. There is nothing like being there…. both for your kids and for your memories.

Upcoming events

Aug. 10-12: MN USA Slow Pitch Softball State

Aug. 24-26: 10,000 Lakes Classic Senior Softball Tournament

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